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Tillus 08-22-2007 06:49 PM

Screen res too low on Etch
My screen (Viewsonic E655) uses a resolution far too low. It is set to 800*600 and there seems to be no way to change that to 1024*768 in either GNOME or KDE. It seems like nothing, perhaps, but some programs don't resize to fit the lower resolution, one example being Gimps's printscreen, meaning you can't actually print from Gimp. I hope there is a way to get round this in the installation files, but what do I know? I have read the post-install thread, but didn't find much there.

I'm on a Compaq with

an S3 Virge DX/GX graphics card
Windows XP (where 1024*768 works perfectly. I'm looking at it now)
Etch (It's half through the night, but I think it is - Debian 4.0r0)
Intel PIII 996MHz
256 MB

Thanks in advance
Let me know if I've left something out


Dutch Master 08-22-2007 07:03 PM

Well, you'll have to manually edit the xorg.conf file. Don't worry, it's not as hard as you might think. Open a root terminal (applications -> accessories) and enter in the root password. Now open gedit with this command:

gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Right on the bottom (it may also be elsewhere) is a section "screen" and it has a subsection "display" with some values. Next to the "mode" entry you add

Make sure you have some whitespace between the value just entered and the next value already there (it's "800x600"), a single tap on the spacebar will do :) Save the file and reboot. Now you should have the 1024*768 resolution as standard.

eco2geek 08-22-2007 08:34 PM

(No need to actually reboot your computer; just log out of GNOME, and when gdm comes up, hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to kill X. It'll automatically restart, using your new resolution.)

Tillus 08-23-2007 06:16 AM

My xorg.conf, by the screen-section, looks something like this:


Section "Device"
Identifier "S3 Inc. ViRGE/DX or /GX"
Driver "s3virge"
BusID "PCI:2:9:0"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Allmän skärm"
Option "DPMS"
HorizSync 28-64
VertRefresh 43-60

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "S3 Inc. ViRGE/DX or /GX"
Monitor "Allmän skärm"
DefaultDepth 24
Then comes a section of color depths and resolutions - among them 1024*768 - like this:

SubSection "Display
Depth 1
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "832x624" "800x600" "720x400" "640x480" "640x400" "640x350"
So, I'm baffelled. Maybe the solution could be renaming the screen from "Allmän skärm" (Generic screen) to something else?

I'll see if the man page gives something, but don't let that stop you from answering. So the conclusion is the screen resolution is present in /etc/X11/xorg.conf already, but isn't selectable in KDE (or Gnome for that matter). Also, in the settings dialog in KDE there is an area called (loosely) Screen settings above resolution, that's greyed out. I hope this gives you an idea.


rickh 08-23-2007 06:42 AM

Try # dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

I always run it from Single-user mode, but I think it works from a GUI terminal window, as well.

Tillus 08-23-2007 06:57 AM

Nope, doesn't do a thing

nx5000 08-23-2007 07:32 AM

And what about hitting several times ctrl alt +
Never saw a depth of 1 but it looks like its possible from the manpage.

Tillus 08-23-2007 07:46 AM

No, the screen just gets strange. More like a deprovement if anything and it's only possible to see part of the screen.

nx5000 08-23-2007 08:18 AM

Your default depth is 24 and you showed us the line of the display for depth 1.
You also have 1024*768 for depth 24?

You can also try to reconfigure Xorg with X internal reconfiguration:

As root:
X -configure
Then you have a new configuration file with compatible modes and the previous command will tell you how to use it.

farslayer 08-23-2007 08:38 AM

Your config is currently showing this:


Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Allmän skärm"
Option "DPMS"
HorizSync 28-64
VertRefresh 43-60
According to the manual the specs for your monitor say..
Fh :30-65kHz,
Fv :50-100Hz

so your "Monitor" section should look like this..


Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Allmän skärm"
Option "DPMS"
HorizSync 30-65
VertRefresh 50-100

Tillus 08-23-2007 09:55 AM

I don't know (having looked through the manual at your link) how you arrived at that, but it got me one new resolution: 832*624 at 75 Hz. A step in the right direction?

farslayer 08-23-2007 10:18 AM

The confusing part is they have 5 manuals for your monitor there.. the Vertical and horizontal refresh rates are different in each one. So being cautious I selected one of the lower ranges. a different manual had the following values listed.


I'm sure there is a number on your monitor that would link it to a specific manual so you could verify which values are correct for your specific monitor. If the values are too low then you will not get the higher resolutions you are trying to view.. if the values are too high for what your monitor can support there is a possibility the monitor could be damaged trying to display them.

IS there a label in the back with model name / number of your monitor ? is the model name followed by another number ?

makuyl 08-23-2007 10:28 AM

Change Default depth from 24 to 16 and restart X.
You can use "xrandr" from a console in X to see available resolutions.

You could also change this:
SubSection "Display
Depth 16
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "832x624" "800x600" "720x400" "640x480" "640x400" "640x350"

into this:
SubSection "Display
Depth 16
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" ##### "832x624" "800x600" "720x400" "640x480"

Tillus 08-23-2007 11:22 AM

Thanks guys!

That really helped! I followed makuyl's advice and it did it. And the rest of you have been wonderful. I have another question, but I take it in another thread. To farslayer: the model no. is E655 no extra dashes or digits. Once again, thanks to all of you. I'll even subscribe to this one, so I don't lose it.


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